PLOUFFE'S INJURY: This one bears watching. Trevor Plouffe left the game in the middle of his at bat in the eighth inning after hitting a foul ball and experiencing pain. He grimaced as he ran to first base, then picked up his bat and left the game. Kennys Vargas completed the at bat by flying out to center. Plouffe was later diagnosed with a left oblique strain and will have an MRI on Wednesday. Apparently, Plouffe felt something during his previous at bat but thought he could stay in the game. ``I had heard that he felt a little something and went into the cage and took some swings and felt he was good to go,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ``That cut that he took finished his night.'' Plouffe has been on the DL because of an intercostal strain and then a broken rib. An oblique strain is a multi-week recovery, and there's not much time left in the season.

DOZIER IS ON FIRE: Shouldn't pitchers be fined at this point for throwing Brian Dozier a fastball? Or demoted? Someone had to say something to Dillon Gee after the first inning when Dozier cranked on his 89 mph heater and sent it into the seats in left for his 39th homer of the season. It doesn't matter if the count was 2-0. Dozier is not missing his pitch right now, and he is now one homer shy of becoming the fourth second baseman ever - and first in the AL - to hit 40 homers in a season. Everything is clicking for Dozier right now - except win. He had showered, dressed and was out of the clubhouse by the time we were let in. It's not easy talking about hitting home runs when the season has been a disaster. The pitching staff is a shambles. Twins pitchers have a 7.58 ERA this month and opponents have scored double-digit runs four times.

PACKED BULLPEN: The Twins began the night with 16 pitchers on the active roster, and two more are on the way. Both Tommy Milone and Trevor May pitched in a simulated game on Tuesday and got through it fine.  Molitor said neither Milone nor May were sharp but didn't seem too concerned. As long as nothing pops up over the next couple of days, look for both to be activated on Friday when the Twins face the Indians. Molitor will no longer have to worry about wearing out his relievers because he'll have plenty to choose from. And it still might not be enough.

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September callups have arrived at Target Field

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Injuries keep Plouffe, Mauer on the bench for finale vs. Royals